Ekrem Imamoglu has come out guns blazing against the investigation into election fraud after reports started making rounds that police were going door-to-door asking residents who did they vote for.
The Istanbul mayor-elect, according to a report on Tuesday by T24 news, lashed out at these actions during a visit.
Imamoglu, the newly-elected Buyukcekmece district mayor, called on the government to stop irritating people while investigating voting irregularities.
“We have run in the elections in this city under the guarantee of electoral boards of our state. There are election minutes. There is no need for further efforts. No need to tire our police and our security forces. No need to disturb our people by sending police door-to-door,” said Imamoglu.
According to unofficial results of the March 31 polls, Imamoglu, a candidate of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), won the run for the Istanbul mayorship.
However, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has repeatedly appealed election results in Turkey’s biggest city, asking for recounts of all votes.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) rejected AKP’s demand for a total recount and ruled, instead, a recount only of 51 ballot boxes in 21 districts. The YSK said it would rule on Buyukcekmece at a later date, where AKP claims widespread voter fraud and demands a re-run of elections.
Ali Ihsan Yavuz, AKP deputy chairman, criticized the ruling, saying: “There is no point in counting only 51 ballot boxes. We will resort to an extraordinary objection process [before the YSK]. We will appeal for a re-run of the Istanbul mayoral elections.”
AKP’s ally Devlet Bahceli, leader of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), endorsed the AKP deputy chair saying a re-run of Istanbul elections might be an option, in order to unburden people’s conscience and to ease the tension among the public.
Echoing Bahceli’s statements, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said a re-run of the mayoral election would eliminate doubts over the March 31 results in Istanbul.